A bear by name, not by nature

Víkingur 100 ára

zondag, juni 15, 2003

On Monday, I took the afternoon flight with Iceland Express, the new low-cost airline, to London, arrived around 8 and was met at Liverpool Street Station by my very nice hosts, Gideon and Jenny. The morning after all three of us were conveniently booked into the same flight to Schiphol, and thanks to some nice people at the Paddington check-in that allowed us to queue-jump, we checked in on time, and in due course I arrived in the Netherlands for the first time. Train to Leiden and there we split up, Gideon and Jenny wandered centre-wards and I took a taxi to my hotel... which turned out to be all of 2 minutes walk away.
Anyway, that saved me time searching. I managed to get to take a short detour into the centre of Leiden before getting to where the doctorate defence took place. Very nice university town. Jos did his defence admirably, not that I understand a word of the Dutch and only the general gist of the questions in English posed by the visiting German professor. Very nice ceremony to a packed house.
After the ceremony there was a reception in a side room and after that, the afp-ers headed to the North End pub, the site of many an afp-meet and later, dinner. In the evening, Jos held a party at a restaurant in the old city gate of Leiden. Very nice location that.
In the morning, I had a few hours to walk around Amsterdam. I didn't find the Red District, mainly because I wasn't looking for it, but given the area I covered, it's somewhat surprising I didn't
since it's supposed to be very near the central train station. After a very nice lunch where I had a pannekoekje for the first time (mushroom) it was back to London.
Evening was taken up with watching people fencing and then pub afterwards. Thursday and Friday were mostly wandering around, and shopping a bit. I got some very nice geektoys, one of which, as detailed yesterday, is non-usable at the moment. Finally it was time to shoehorn self into low-cost plane seat and suffer a recurrence of tha side pain that's been annoying me for a while now.